Eccentricites of a Blond Hair Girl – Short Stories Should be Exactly That…Short.

20 09 2009

Veteran director Manoel de Oliveira marked his 100th birthday with the adaptation of José Maria de Eça de Queiroz’s short story. It is a fascinating tale set in 18th century Portugal about a young accountant named Macário who, while peering through his office window above his uncle’s cashmere store, instantly falls in love with Luisa who lives in the building next door. He rushes to pursue her only to have his uncle prohibit the relationship and making his employment conditional upon this command. But of course, love must have its way and Macário travels to Cape Verde where he could raise funds to ask for Luisa’s hand. It is unquestionably a romantic premise although with an interesting twist that proves Macário’s efforts to have been in vain.

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The Private Lives of Pippa Lee – The Gem in the Haystack

18 09 2009

With over 300 films playing at this year’s Toronto Film Festival, the likeliness that you’ll find that one gem in the haystack is, well, highly unlikely. You’ll probably see more lacklustre films than anything else, but if you’re lucky enough, you’ll find that one film that’ll make your entire Film Festival experience absolutely unforgettable. So let me tell you, I’ve been lucky enough to find that treasure in Rebecca Miller’s wonderfully woven film, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.

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Les Herbes Folles – Delightfully Bizarre

17 09 2009

It seems to be just my luck this Film Festival season to be picking films of such obscurity that leave me absolutely flabbergasted once the credits roll in on the screen. But alas, I must give credit where credit is due…this film, Les Herbes Folles, is one that is light, comedic, and, despite many surprises that will leave you scratching your head, simply delightful. Based on a book by Christian Gailly, Les Herbes Folles tells the unique tale of a rather eccentric romance that blossoms over a lost wallet.

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Women Without Men – What Is Imagery Without Plot?

15 09 2009

Oh those flashing lights! The celeb-stalking! The paparazzi! The crowds! The red carpet! This could only mean one thing…the return of our beloved city into the cinema world spotlight! That’s right, the 34th Toronto International Film Festival began just last Thursday, and as always, I’ve been basking in the glory of all the festivities.

I kicked off the Film Festival season with Sharin Neshat’s adaptation of Shahrnush Parsipur’s novella, ‘Women without Men’. Set against the political backdrop of the 1953 Iranian coup d’état that brought down the democratically elected Mohammed Mossadegh, the film tells the interconnected tales of four women struggling to find freedom in their own personal lives.

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